Mexican American Artist Depicts Remnants of Border Crossings

abstract painting by Juan Lopez-Bautista
Juan Lopez-Bautista, from the series “Landscape Remnants,” acrylic and mixed media on synthetic paper, 22 x 26 inches.

UA graduate student in painting Dr. Juan Lopez-Bautista will have a solo exhibition at Lowe Mill Arts in Huntsville, Ala., from November 18, 2020, through January 9, 2021. The show, titled Landscape Remnants, will be held in Lowe Mill’s Third Floor West Gallery. There will be a closing reception on Friday, January 8 from 6-8 p.m.

In this solo exhibition, Lopez-Bautista continues to delve into his Mexican American self-identity. He writes, “The personal and social challenges that I witness as an immigrant inform my research. I find resonance between my artwork and the divided political discourse of today.” Below is his artist statement for this current exhibition:

“In these current works, I am exploring the immigrant’s remnants in the landscape as a source for visual imagery. I use pictures from journalists, news websites, and groups pro and against illegal immigrants from the USA/Mexico border. These photo images show the remains from a journey, the residues of long and sometimes deadly crossings. For some, they are just trash, but for me, they are assemblages of objects with meanings. The items are remnants of stories to be told, clothing that someone wore, slashed water jugs, forgotten toys and dolls, and bags that at one time contained cherished heirlooms. Although the objects appear faded after being exposed for weeks or months to the desert sunlight, they still vividly contrast with the arid and inhospitable environment. These found items in the landscape are a challenge for me to create abstractions of empathy and, while I am working in the studio, I often think about their owners and the lives left behind to pursue their dreams.”

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.